PAPER BATTERY COULD POWER FUTURE
PAPER BATTERY COULD POWER FUTURE
2007-08-17 at 7:57:00 am #18518
Paper battery could power future
Paper battery offers future power,Flexible paper batteries could meet the energy demands of the next generation of gadgets, says a team of researchers.
have produced a sample slightly larger than a postage stamp that can
store enough energy to illuminate a small light bulb.But the ambition
is to produce reams of paper that could one day power a car.Professor
Robert Linhardt, of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said the
paper battery was a glimpse into the future of power storage.The team
behind the versatile paper, which stores energy like a conventional
battery, says it can also double as a capacitor capable of releasing
sudden energy bursts for high-power applications.While a conventional
battery contains a number of separate components, the paper battery
integrates all of the battery components in a single structure, making
it more energy efficient.
appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(PNAS).”Think of all the disadvantages of an old TV set with tubes,”
said Professor Linhardt, from the New York-based institute, who
co-authored a report into the technology.”The warm up time, power loss,
component malfunction; you don’t get those problems with integrated
devices. When you transfer power from one component to another you lose
energy. But you lose less energy in an integrated device.”
You can implant a piece of paper in the body and blood would serve as an electrolyte Professor Robert Linhardt
battery contains carbon nanotubes, each about one millionth of a
centimetre thick, which act as an electrode. The nanotubes are embedded
in a sheet of paper soaked in ionic liquid electrolytes, which conduct
the electricity.The flexible battery can function even if it is rolled
up, folded or cut.Although the power output is currently modest,
Professor Linhardt said that increasing the output should be easy.”If
we stack 500 sheets together in a ream, that’s 500 times the voltage.
If we rip the paper in half we cut power by 50%. So we can control the
power and voltage issue.”Because the battery consists mainly of paper
and carbon, it could be used to power pacemakers within the body where
conventional batteries pose a toxic threat.”I wouldn’t want the ionic
liquid electrolytes in my body, but it works without them,” said
Professor Linhardt. “You can implant a piece of paper in the body and
blood would serve as an electrolyte.”But Professor Daniel Sperling at
University of California, Davis, an expert on alternative power sources
for transport, is unconvinced.
and capacitors are being steadily improved, but electricity storage is
much more difficult and expensive than liquid fuels and probably will
be so forever,” he said.”The world is not going to change as a result
of this new invention any time soon.”Professor Linhardt admitted that
the new battery is still some way from the commercial market.”The
devices we’re making are only a few inches across. We would have to
scale up to sheets of newspaper size to make it commercially viable,”
he said. But at that scale, the voltage could be large enough to power
a car, he said.
However, carbon nanotubes are very expensive,
and batteries large enough to power a car are unlikely to be cost
effective.”I’m a strong enthusiast of electric vehicles, but it is
going to take time to bring the costs down,” said Professor
Sperling.But Professor Linhardt said integrated devices, like the paper
battery, were the direction the world was moving.”They are ultimately
easier to manufacture, more environmentally friendly and usable in a
wide range of devices,” he said.The ambition is to produce the paper
battery using a newspaper-type roller printer.
Electricity is the flow of electrical power or electrons
1. Batteries produce electrons through a chemical reaction between electrolyte and metal in the traditional battery.
2. Chemical reaction in the paper battery is between electrolyte and carbon nanotubes.
3. Electrons collect on the negative terminal of the battery and flow along a connected wire to the positive terminal
4. Electrons must flow from the negative to the positive terminal for the chemical reaction to continue.